Vanity Vocab: The Makeup Shopping Bible

For people who are shopping for makeup, the possibilities are overwhelming and some products can be WAY too expensive ($200 for a Mascara?? REALLY PEOPLE?). When researching products online there are some terms that come up relating to the quality or use of a product.

Swatch/Swatching: The act of testing the product on some part of the body. It is usually done with a stripe of product by a finger, brush, or straight from a pencil or tube product.

Pigmentation: This word translates to how much pigment or how intensely colored a product is. If you swatch a light pink blush on the back of your hand and do not see it, this is less pigmented. A general rule is the more pigmented the product, the longer the product will stay on. Another way to think of it is the opacity of a color.

Color Payoff: This is kind of a synonym for pigmentation. Personally, i think of color payoff as the difference between how much color is on your finger and the back of your hand. Some colors look super intense on your finger before you swipe it on your skin, but when you do swipe it on tour skin there is barely any color. This may not be completely correct, but this is how I use it in my vocabulary.

Contour: Contouring is exaggerating or creating shadows on the face. You would do this under the area you want to highlight (EX: under the cheekbones) or areas that you want to appear smaller. The general rule is to use a color with a bit of grey to contour because this emulates natural shadows.

Highlight: In general art speak, highlights are the light areas or where the light is hitting. In terms of makeup, this is lightening an area to make it come forward. There are two ways to highlight: using a lighter color concealer, foundation, or powder on certain areas of the face or using a shimmery power in high points of the face (like tops of cheekbones or on the brow bone).

If you’ve heard of a word in the makeup world that should be added to this list comment below! Maybe I’ll do a part II…….

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